arrow pointing down

Like any sport, NASCAR sets its own rules and regulations, which in turn elicits strategies from drivers and their teams.


Dude, these are just people making left turns over and over again. Where’s the strategy in that?


Eagles player

Football players are constantly swapped in and out of the field as coaches get a feel of the other team’s defense/offense.

  • view more

    In football, the NFL allows a maximum of 53 players on its roster and only 46 of these may be eligible to play on game days. This is to account for player injuries that could occur during a play, as well as their staminas, and unique characteristics. NFL football players will work with their coach to maximize their output in order to achieve the most touchdowns and have the best defense line.

    source 1

NASCAR player

NASCAR teams maximize their teams by having a responsive pit crew/engineers/drivers.

  • view more

    Similarly, NASCAR upholds numerous rules and regulations that transcend all racing series. For the 2020 season, officials “reduced the maximum number of “road crew” personnel (engineers, mechanics, crew/car chief, spotters) from 12 to 10 during race weekends. Additionally, the new rules will limit the amount of “organizational staff” for each organization to three. ” This is to account for the wear on the car, the build of the car, and the coordination needed to drive in and out of the track.

    source 2


Much like a manager and his team of players, drivers and their pit crews have to strategically work together to ensure that the entire team wins the race.


  • chart of different times
  • Going the fastest doesn’t gurantee a driver victory

    No, NASCAR isn’t just about pressing hard on the accelerator. Do you constantly press yours when you drive? Look at the average winning speed for the Daytona 500 between these three years.

  • Awareness of the car’s position and performance

    There are at least 40 people on the track in a given race driving at speeds of 100+ mph. Now let’s throw in some aero-dynamics: yeah, you know how wind flow affects a throw in football? NASCAR drivers have to take that into account as well.

    • view more

      As a driver, not only do you have to be aware of where to place the car on the track to maintain the optimal momentum, but you also have to control the throttle in such a way that you don’t swerve off track. How the car performs is dependent on the drag that is created when there are other surrounding cars as well as on the air flow around the car. “Aerodynamic drag increased with the square of speed”, so drivers need to be on high alert as to how they drive alongside others as this is a factor that affects the speed and fuel efficiency.

      source 3

      source 4

  • Speed is determined by the individual + other drivers

    There are at least 40 people on the track in a given race driving at speeds of 100+ mph. Now let’s throw in some aero-dynamics: yeah, you know how wind flow affects a throw in football? NASCAR drivers have to take that into account as well.

    • view more

      Much like how other sports players control the speed at which they run, or do a certain motion to obtain a goal- NASCAR drivers need to be sensitive to their body’s reaction to the physical properties that are affecting the car. With the different mechanisms of the cars and the drivers’ mindsets, each car will have a varying “speed” that is affected by each driver.

      source 5


I’m not convinced, how does a driver have to work together with their pit crew to win a race? Isn’t the whole point of any NASCAR race is that it requires the driver to cross the finish line?






Track_02 Passin g d u r i n g a r a c e i s n t l i k e d r i v i n g a r o u n d a s l o w c a r o n t he highway. Passing d u r i n g a r a c e i s n t l i k e d r i v i n g a r o u n d a s l o w c a r o n t h e highway.


  • chart of different times

    Avg time for a four-tire stop for 2016 Daytona 500 Winner, Denny Hamlin. Serviced by Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  • Pit crews can make or break the driver’s ranking in the competition

    Having a great pit crew is essential to the overall speed of the car. Driving around for hours without a change is detrimental to the driver’s grip on the road. That’s where a great team comes in.

    • view more

      The more wear there is on a wheel, the less grip a car has on the road— this is something that the team has to consider. On one hand, drivers need to drive as efficiently as possible in order to reduce the amount of tire wear. On the other hand, pit crews need to service the car as quickly as possible so the driver can get back in the race. The way in which the driver pulls up to the pit crew is determined by the “lollipop man”, who will hold out a lollipop shaped object to indicate the best area for a driver to stop. As soon as the driver presses the breaks, the clock is counting down, and members are rushing against time to adjust the car and to check for any faults in it while they change out the tires. 
If the pit crew is slow then the driver could go from 1st to 2nd.

      source 6

  • Technical knowledge is good for the team

    Beyond the pit crew, there are engineers and managers who work together with the driver to craft the perfect car for racing— taking into their personal behaviors.

    • view more

      In addition to the pit crew, there are also the engineers who work endlessly to build the car. Modifying a car based off of the rules takes a skilled team member who understands the personality of the driver and their behaviors as they drive. The same factors that the driver and the pit crew have to consider-- the engineer has to as well.

  • Speed is determined by the individual + other drivers All parts of the team must communicate and work together in order to get their driver to pass the others and to eventually win the race.


Pitting gives the team the opportunity to adjust the car and optimize their crew, just like how a team works together to get a basketball into a hoop, or a football over the field post, or a soccer ball into a net.


In any sport, strategies are an integral part to a game, a heat, or a session. They are used by both individuals, (i.e swimming, boxing, snowboarding), and teams, (i.e basketball, soccer, football) to advance their objective: to win. NASCAR is a sport, because drivers and their pit crew work together to win the race.